Court suspends Mkhwebane's remedial action against Gordhan

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/The Sunday Times

Remedial action by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane against public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan has been suspended pending the review application, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled on Monday.

The remedial action which would have seen President Cyril Ramaphosa take disciplinary action against Gordhan for his role in establishing the SA Revenue Service's high-risk investigation team, termed the "rogue unit".

In delivering the judgment, judge Sulet Potterill said there was no harm in Mkhwebane waiting until the outcome of the review application in which Gordhan has asked the court to set aside the report in its entirety.

Potterill said the remedial action by Mkhwebane was “vague”, “contradictory” and “nonsensical”.

Gordhan brought an urgent application to the court, asking it to suspend the implementation of remedial action proposed by Mkhwebane in her report into the "rogue unit" at Sars, pending the determination of a judicial review of the report.

The court has ruled in Gordhan’s favour, saying there was no harm for Mkhwebane   but there was for Gordhan.

The court did not rule on the competence or alleged bias of Mkhwebane, leaving that to the judge hearing the review application.

This is a developing story.

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan was successful in his application for an urgent court interdict to have Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's findings against him reviewed and set aside until a judicial review has been completed. Judge Sulet Potterill of the North Gauteng High Court read out the judgment.

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